Phoenix Fights

Fighting the FEAR, depression and BDP on a daily basis AND making my own bread. Bring it on 2016….

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After my little posting on religion the other night all manner of things seem to be cropping up, mainly demonstrating what a bleedin’ hypocrite I am.

Whilst I have allegedly left the rat race now and am something of a pseudo hippy, I sometimes find it hard to turn off my business/customer service brain, especially when it comes to finding fault with folk :-).

In an attempt to stick to some of my 2013 aims, I joined quote a rather gung ho hiking club called ‘Earn That Lunch!’ and booked myself in for a tough 13 miler. This is the act of someone who has barely moved from the sofa for 9 months, but that’s me I’m afraid, all or nothing.

The person who runs this group is very strict on who she allows in, and is especially clear on the desired age and level of fitness of her participants.  Let’s just say I probably just scraped through.

After several emails reiterating how fit we all should be leading up to the day, I got a mite nervous and emailed her back.

‘Hi A, I have to say, I’m getting a bit anxious about this now.  I haven’t hiked since Christmas and am a bit worried about keeping up with all of you Amazons!  What happens if lag behind?’

She replied:

‘Hi Sista, you shouldn’t be worried, honestly! I’m just being cautious, as sometimes people turn up in leather jackets and trainers and think we’re going for a leisurely stroll.  I can tell that you’re going to be fine, trust me!’

Okey Dokey, it’s on!

So on the eve of the big day I get out my day pack, fill it with the required supplies (water, snacks, wet wipes, plasters, lipstick 🙂 ) lay out my walking togs and get out my mud splattered boots.

That is when I realise that I am actually serious about this, I’m preparing and not just setting my alarm in the sure and certain knowledge that when it goes off I’m hit snooze a few times, cancel then go back to bed.  I really mean it this time.

So when the big day dawns, I rock up in all the right kit, day pack on my back feeling quite excited and pretty pleased with myself to boot.  I made it!  I’m going to have a great day out!  I’m going to get fit!  And make new, healthier than me (in more ways than one) friends!

‘A’ turns out to be a tiny, hyperactive American lady with wild eyes and an almost OCD approach to organising the day.  She passes out flapjacks to us all (nice touch) on the train, then she asks us to choose what we want for lunch so she can ring through the orders to the restaurant, presumably so we don’t waste any precious time chilling and chatting for 20-30 minutes whilst our food was being prepared. That should have been a very obvious red flag to me with regard to how intense this hike would be, but at the time I just thought she was super efficient.

So we set out at a brisk power walk pace; what I expected.  Hell, I can do this, I’m only just behind A at the front.  It’s a beautiful day, people are really friendly and I’m starting to enjoy myself.

Then we start to go uphill and all of a sudden I’m gasping.  I have about ten layers of clothing on and want to stop and take my jacket off, but I’m scared of lagging behind.  So I unzip the front, create a gap where a bit of air can get in and keep on truckin’.

But it only helps marginally. The lady next to me is chatting away and I can barely give her one word replies.  I look desperately at A who has nearly reached the top of the hill to a path where the ground plateaus out.

Please, I think, please for the love of God go that way.

But it’s not challenging enough for A. She pauses, crosses that lovely, forgiving path and starts to ascend again.

That’s it; I have to stop and get this jacket off.  My chatty friend pauses, concerned.

‘You OK?’ she asks.

‘I’m fine,’ I lie, ‘I just need to shed a layer or two.’

I remove my jacket as fast as I can but the inevitable happens; the group race past me and I find myself at the back.

In no mans land. Alone :-(.

Most walking or hiking groups have one person walking at the rear to help stragglers like me, or at least make sure they don’t get lost, but this clearly isn’t A’s priority.  Her priority is to walk as far and as fast as she can so she burns up lots of calories then can stuff her face when we get to the pub, and she makes no bones about that.  You snooze you lose.

I curse, pull my day pack back on and try in vain to catch up, but, not being able to stop and catch my breath before moving on, invariably I start to lose sight of the group.

I’m getting kinda scared now; I have no idea where I am, there is no sign of civilisation, let alone a taxi and I’m starting to panic. Then out of the woods come a couple from my group.

Thank God!

Bless their hearts, they are paying customers just like me, but wanted to make sure I didn’t get lost, unlike A who clearly doesn’t give a flying one. The husband takes my coat and daypack and the wife grabs my hand but it’s no use; I’m absolutely exhausted and I’m holding them back.

Eventually we come across a pair of elderly walkers, so I thank my rescuers profusely, tell then that I don’t want to spoil their day, that they should go on without me and I’ll make my own way back to civilisation.

And that is what I did.  I walked about 5 miles along a road to the nearest main line station, get on a train and go home.  It takes me around three and a half hours, and by the time I get back I am in equal parts relieved, angry, indignant and humiliated, not to mention 100 percent exhausted.

If you read this blog, I’m sure you know that I’m aware of my shit, so I get in the bath with a big mug of tea and try to push down the urge to lash out in the form of a bad review on A’s site.

‘Don’t do it,’ whispers my Higher Self, ‘it’s an act of revenge, no more no less, and you are above all of that now.’

‘That’s all very well for you to say,’ I retort bitterly, ‘what if that couple hadn’t come back? What if the old  couple hadn’t happened to pass by?  I would have been screwed!  People need to know the risks!’

‘I’m sure A’s learned her lesson,’ wheedled HS, ‘it’s for her to learn this and not for you to teach her.’

I get out of the bath, dry off and make myself a big sausage sandwich to cheer myself up.

But I can’t let it go.

I go to the web page, log in and post something like this for the group to read.

‘Well that was pretty humiliating to say the least!  Sorry not to make it to the pub but I couldn’t keep up, but thanks to the lovely couple who came back for me, we found some locals, I got directions and eventually got home safely.  I think I need to leave this group until I get a bit fitter, but it was lovely to meet you all and maybe I’lll see you again sometime :-).

To anyone who wants to join this group, I know A emphasises that you need to be very fit to go along, but believe me you do, so if you have any doubt that you can keep up, I’d give this one a miss.

Bye for now!

S x’

Whilst I immediately feel better, my HS is not impressed.

‘Well there you go, you got your revenge, albeit in a lovely passive aggressive way,’, she cooed sarcastically, ‘feeling better now?’

Higher Selves should not be sarky, otherwise how are they ‘higher’?

I’m unrepentant.

‘She got off lightly!  A year ago I would have taken her down big style! That was a mere love tap! Plus people should know what they’re letting themselves in for, otherwise Ms A will have some kind of Blair Witch scandal and law suit on her hands!  She needs to be more customer focussed instead of treating us like she’s doing us a favour by taking our money.  She should be thanking me for the heads up!’

‘What,’ retorts HS, ‘like exposing the vet?’


For those who haven’t read the post, my vet recently tried to scam me by pretending one of my cats, Dexter needed a scan, but when challenged he admitted that he didn’t actually have anything wrong with him. Then, probably terrified that I was going to bust him, he changed his mind again and said that Dex might have something wrong with him after all.  Suffice to say, I was furious and have been busting his ass ever since.  And when he ignored my emails and letters I posted him a message on his Facebook page.  Ahem.

‘Again,’ I say loftily to my HS, ‘people need to know what they are dealing with. He is ripping people off.  People who can barely afford to eat around here, let alone pay hefty vet bills!’

HS sighs. ‘Have a little think to yourself my love and see if you can say, hand on heart that you didn’t enjoy any of this whatsoever; that you’re not punishing people for crossing you or letting you down.’

And then she’s gone.  Leaving me to figure out exactly what my motives are to this end.

And you know what?  I’m not entirely sure.

In fairness I am, from a business point of view very pro customer service, especially in this tough financial climate. I do hate liars and cheats and can hand on heart say that I hope my FB post stops my vet scamming anyone else. And it’s humiliating to be left behind like a runt pup (or should that be old bitch?) while the rest of the pack disappear without a backwards glance, and scary to be left alone in the woods when you don’t know where you are.

But as my HS, and indeed Vic Reeves might say, ‘You wouldn’t let it lie!’ as I have the rather unattractive propensity to punish and keep on punishing until the poor bastard in question falls to the floor and stops moving.

Not exactly a great way of making friends and influencing people, Sista.

So I didn’t verbally beat A up until she apologised/lost customers/begged for mercy.  I did punish her though.

So I haven’t reported my vet to the BVA.  The fact that I know there is a BVA indicates my inclination to do so, plus I have no doubt given him a few sleepless nights, the lying toe rag.

This desire for revenge is my own inner demon and does me no justice or favours, and whilst I have got it on a short lead nowadays, I need to keep an eye on it at all times lest it wriggles free and starts biting again.

I also need to develop and feed my starved, emaciated little characteristic called Forgiveness.

I just have to find it first, thats all 🙂

Onwards and upwards.

Namaste x